The real treat of the trip and secretly the genuine reason for the
trip was an opportunity to "shoot the rapids" on the St. Laurence
river. There are a number of companies that provide adventure tours.
The one that I selected was approximately 30 miles outside of the city. It
has custom-built jet-powered aluminum boats that are very self- bailing.
When I first saw them on the river I was a little skeptical -- they have no
transom! The design of new high speed racing sailboats
calculated to let any water that gets into the boat to drain overboard -
quickly. It certainly works. We took many a wave right over the bow
but the boat drained very quickly.
The tour operators make a big thing of how large the waves are and
how dangerous and while they are not as large or as dangerous as advertised they
need to be respected. After the first hit I realized that just like on a
sailboat when you see the water coming at you - get your head down. It was
a blast - what they are doing is diving the boats into the side of the
turbulence created by the [rapids] rocks in the river. This may sound
dangerous until you realize that:
The boat operators were masters of the overstatement. For
instance, they told us how lucky we were that the water temperature was really
warm Well to someone from Florida, 55 degrees or less seemed VERY cold!
They had given everyone rubber suits that appeared to be water-tight and were.
Unfortunately this did not stop the water from entering around your neck.
My suit was so water-tight that when I raised my arm all of the (55 degree) water
that was trapped in the elbow area of the waterproof rubber suit flowed down my
I have found that we do not know how much fun we are having until it
is over. That is exactly what
happened on the St. Lawrence. Like
an audience at a good play or concert, we were headed back to the docks much too soon.
Yes -- it really was fun.
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